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Josh McDaniels Transcript: 'We'll need to play good football for four quarters on Sunday'

Q:What are your thoughts on Clay Matthews playing inside linebacker and how does that affect the Green Bay defense?

JM:He's a versatile guy, there's no question about it. We need to know where he's at on each snap. He's not just in one place, that's for certain. I think, to me, no matter where he's at – if he's inside off the line, if he's on the line of scrimmage playing a linebacker position or if he's in their sub packages playing an end or in a pass rush position – he's a very good football player. Certainly, we're going to have a lot of guys that are going to need to be ready to handle him in protection because it's not just one person's responsibility based on the fact that he lines up [at] so many different spots. It'll be a big challenge for us. He's part of a really, really good unit that we're getting ready for. Obviously, he's been a good player for a long time, and I'm sure it'll be a big challenge for us on Sunday.

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Q: **What do you think Jimmy Garoppolo has been able to accomplish this regular season in the limited reps that he's been afforded?

JM:I think every young player that comes in in their rookie season, they go through a – it's a process of a lot of firsts – and for Jimmy, each week is a different week. He's getting to look at a different defense that he's never seen this week based on the teams we've already played and prepared for. He works extremely hard and tries to prepare himself to be ready to play each week. [He] goes through the same type of preparation in terms of film and meetings and tests and those types of things that the rest of our players do. Hopefully, he's improving and learning about the league and the opponent that we play each week, which can only make him better and more prepared if and when we need him to get in there and play.

Q:When something isn't working, how do you strike a balance between sticking with it and trying something completely different? How difficult is that to do when something isn't working early in a game?

JM:I think you have to make quick decisions on game day about things like that, and if something comes up that's not necessarily providing the same level of production that you were hoping for or that you thought you'd get from it, I think you need to decide first of all whether or not it's something small that you need to fix to make it more productive or if it's something that the other team is doing that is totally going to take that away from you potentially for the entire day. I think each one is an individual conversation. Each game plan would be different for us, different for them, and the variables are many in terms of what may cause a problem during the course of the beginning of the game, the first quarter – whatever it may be – the first half, and you've just got to make quick decisions about whether or not this is worth continuing to try based on what they're doing or if we just do this a little bit better, we're going to find some production with it. You always have enough in there that if you have to go away from something you're going to be OK, and at the same time, you work awful hard to make these things go during the week, and if it's something that we just didn't quite execute well enough, you'd love to be able to come to the sideline and coach it up and show the group what we may be able to do better to fix it and then go out there and do it right the next time.

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Q: **What in your opinion makes Brandon LaFell a good receiver and why has he been such a good fit in your offense this season?

JM:Brandon, he came in here in the spring with a great attitude, was involved in the offseason program, was out there every day in OTAs and training camp and really works hard at his craft. He's a professional, does a great job of being available for us to work before or after practice, whatever it may be. He wants to learn and wants to get better, and you can see that with his preparation each week. And he's really, really tough. He's a tough guy who does a lot of things well at the position. He's tough to bring down once he has the ball. He's a physical route runner. He's got strong hands. He's willing to block and do those types of things that sometimes go unnoticed. He's a very unselfish player. I think he's just a guy who has embraced his role, whatever it may be on a week-to-week basis, has worked as hard as he can to get himself ready to be productive in that role, and when he's had his opportunities he's made the most of them.

Q:According to the Minnesota play-by-play guys, Green Bay is tops in the league in turnover ratio. Is there something specific that they're doing well to make that happen? Is there anything about that that has caused them to play so well over the last several weeks?

JM:Well, I mean we all know how important turnovers are to the outcome of most games in this league, and they've done a better job of taking the ball away than everybody else has. That's going to be a great challenge for us on Sunday because we've got to do a great job of taking care of it. We can't give them extra possessions on offense and can't allow them…They've taken the ball away and scored a number of times as well. They have a good rush. They disrupt the quarterback in the pocket. They've created some strip-sack opportunities for themselves. Their secondary covers very well and tight on the receivers and tight ends and backs and sometimes force the quarterback to hold the ball longer than you want him to because of it. Their group in the back end has done a good job of catching the ball when they've had some tipped passes or high throws over the middle. They've done a good job of taking advantage of those opportunities in the secondary. It's a group that puts a lot of pressure on you. They do a lot of different things. You really have to do a good job of communicating and being on the same page, and if you're not, they can really take advantage of you, and they've done that very well so far this year. No question, the turnovers are going to be an important part of this game and our preparation this week. We've got to do a good job of trying to limit the opportunities that they have to create those and try to play good football for four quarters on Sunday.

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